Retirement Planning


Exactly what is “Retirement”? Most dictionaries say it’s “withdrawal from one’s occupation or business. One definition even says “withdrawal from office, business or active life”. Imagine that. Withdrawal from active life!

These definitions are sadly outdated. Maybe we used to think of retirement as a gold watch, an end to work and the beginning of a life of leisure. But better health and longer lives are changing that.

More and more, retirement simply means the end of a 9 to 5 routine and the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. For many that means a new career or perhaps an extension of the old one. And for many, this new freedom could last a long time.

Statistically, most people who reach age 65 without significant health problems can reasonably expect to live at least another 20 years. And over one-third of individuals now between the ages of 55 and 65 will live well beyond the age of 90.

So there are two countervailing forces at work. On the one hand, we’re living longer, so we’ll need more savings. On the other hand, we’re working longer, so we’ll need less savings. As long as these forces are relatively equal in their effect, everything should work out just fine.

How much money will it take to be financially independent? That’s very much up to you. Some experts say you’ll need up to 70% of your income before retirement.

When people start to think about retirement planning, the most common concern is that they might outlive their money. And with modern medicine allowing people to stay healthy and live so much longer, chances of that happening keep growing.

That’s what we can help you with. To help you make sure you don’t outlive your wealth and to ensure your retirement years are spent in comfort and security. Because as you can well imagine, retirement’s not much fun when you don’t have enough money.

If your retirement is around the corner, and you don’t have a retirement plan yet, you have no time to spare. Unless you’re quite wealthy and have all the money you’ll ever need, you really should start planning.

Before you can determine how much money you’ll need, you have to think about what kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy. You have to have some idea of the kinds of things you want to do with your newfound free time.

For some, retirement means having the time to spend in the garden. For others, retirement means having the time to travel. Gardening costs very little. Travel costs a lot.

The point is, what you do with your time determines how much money you’ll need. So you’ve got to sit down, gaze into your future and ask yourself some questions like:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • Do you plan on downsizing your home?
  • Will you sell your expensive city home and move to the country?
  • Will you be moving to a retirement community?
  • Will you rent or own a vacation home?
  • Will you spend time in warmer climates? How long?
  • Do you plan on any major purchases or renovations to your home?
  • Will you travel? How often? How far?
  • Will you stay in costly hotels or will a B&B do?
  • Will you work part-time while retired?
  • Will you become more active in your community?
  • Will you get involved in volunteer work?
  • Will you be supporting or helping to support any family members?
  • What hobbies will you pursue? What will they cost?
  • Will you join a golf club? Or buy a boat?
  • Will there be much dining out? Theatre? Movies?
  • Do you want to spend your capital over your lifetime or do you want to leave an estate?

Each one of these questions relates to money. How you answer determines whether you’ll need more or whether you’ll need less.